Two mad doctors — well, they may not be totally made yet, but they are well on their way — reanimate a corpse in the fun horror-comedy short Half-Cocked. The problem is, they chose the wrong person to try and gift with eternal life.
Dr. Grant Kirby (Pat Healy) and Dr. Gabriella Flores (Vanessa Benavente) rob a grave to procure their experimental subject, one Rudy Collins (Lundon Boyd), five days dead and therefore fresh enough to reanimate, by their estimations. Their experiment is a success, of sorts — Rudy wanted to die, even proclaiming so on his Facebook page.
The three actors make for a terrific comic team, with great timing and plenty of snappy patter courtesy of writer/director Aaron Barrocas. Healy underplays the often scenery-chewing mad scientist role, and Benavente makes a for a fine comic foil and partner in crime in her portrayal of the closest thing to the voice of reason in the mess. Boyd is a blast as the hapless Rudy.
Barrocas is as strong at crafting comical horror scenes as he is at coming up with humorous dialogue, and he gets huge assists from special effects artists Joe Castro and Steven J. Escobar and makeup artists Unique Chung and Tffy DeJesus. There’s no shortage of gore gags, with plenty of the red stuff on display, and the numerous makeup effects for Rudy are impressive.
Half-Cocked takes a classic horror/science fiction premise (with nods to some of the short’s predecessors in that department) and plays with it in entertaining ways. Currently on the film festival circuit, the short is a rollicking good time and comes highly recommended.
Half-Cocked screened as part of Twisted Dreams Film Festival, which runs from October 1–4.(4 / 5)